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Jan 5, 2017

‘Out-of-the-Box’ Approaches Can Help Combat Antibiotic Resistance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, military

Is it possible to kill bacteria with bacteria?

This is the unorthodox question posed by a team of researchers funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—a research and development organization within the U.S. Department of Defense—that is exploring whether an unusual type of bacteria that eats other bacteria could be a new weapon in the fight against drug-resistant infections.

Known as the Pathogen Predator program, the DARPA initiative (led by Dr. Barry Pallotta) is part of a growing effort to seek new and innovative ways to defeat drug-resistant superbugs, which are rapidly evolving to beat even our most powerful antibiotics.

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Jan 5, 2017

Jeff Bezos tweets his vote of support for constructing a ‘superhighway in space’

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

What should Donald Trump have NASA do? Today Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos voiced his support for the idea that the space agency should help build a “highway in the sky” analogous to the interstate highway system that President Dwight Eisenhower ramped up in the 1950s.

The backing came in the form of an eight-word tweet, accompanied by a link to an article by Howard Bloom appearing in Salon (and as a guest blog posting on Scientific American’s website as well).

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Jan 5, 2017

The Future Of Encryption

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, engineering, internet, quantum physics

QC in the mainstream is definitely viable less than 7 yrs. and possible within 5 yrs. However, I have a friend who even believes we’re looking at 3 years.

Internet security, once considered to be strictly in the domain of the wonkiest tech experts, has become central to public discourse over the past year. Besides the attacks on the DNC, even tech savvy business like Snapchat, Oracle and Verizon Enterprise Solutions have had significant breaches in the last year.

For the most part, these attacks were preventable. Often, hackers use a technique called social engineering, to trick people into allowing them into a system. Other times, they exploit a vulnerability in software to give them access to confidential data. In most cases, more stringent procedures can prevent attacks.

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Jan 5, 2017

Synthego bags $41M to grow CRISPR synthetic RNA kit biz

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, robotics/AI


Synthetic RNA kit business Synthego has raised $41 million to step up its efforts to make CRISPR gene editing easier and more accurate. The West Coast startup relied heavily on tech VCs for the cash, but also gained validation from having CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna invest in its business.

Redwood City, CA-based Synthego exited stealth in August, four years after it was set up by two former SpaceX computer engineers. In those early years, which were bankrolled by an $8.3 million investment in 2013, Synthego established an automated manufacturing process for guide RNA products that it thinks sets it apart from larger competitors in terms of cost, turnaround time and editing efficiency.

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Jan 5, 2017

Combining catalytic and electrical contact edge-effects to engineer the transport properties of nanocontacts to nanowires

Posted by in category: nanotechnology


Subscribe! Receive a convenient email notification whenever a new Nanowerk Nanotechnology Spotlight posts.

Become a Spotlight guest author! Have you just published a scientific paper or have other exciting developments to share with the nanotechnology community? Here is how to publish on

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Jan 5, 2017

Cryptographers Rally to NIST Call for Quantum Computer Algorithms

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, government, information science, military, privacy, quantum physics

Has anyone besides NSA, NIST, DARPA, IARPA, etc. realize and thought about what type of cyber warfare will exist in a QC world? The skillsets alone will be so far advance than the techies that we have seen in most companies today as well as in most government agencies. Granted we’re simplifying things with the platform; however, skillsets will still need to be more advance than what we have seen with the standard techie.

Members of the cryptography community have expressed interest in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) recent call for an algorithm less susceptible to hacks from a computer that does not exist yet.

NIST announced a call for proposals for post-quantum cryptography standardization on Dec. 20. One or more of the proposed algorithms will ultimately replace some of NIST’s cryptographic standards that are most vulnerable to quantum computers. According to Dustin Moody, a mathematician at NIST, 40 people have joined the agency’s online cryptography forum since the call was announced two weeks ago. The forum had about 200 members before the call went out. Moody said that many people were anticipating the announcement, as cryptography enthusiasts tend to run in the same circles.

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Jan 5, 2017

Researchers Build FIRST Reprogrammable Quantum Computer!

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Nice advancement this week in QC.

Researchers may have finally created the first fully reprogrammable quantum computer in the world. This changes the entire spectrum of the technology, as quantum computers so far could only run one type of equation.

This marks the beginning of reprogrammable quantum computers. Several teams and companies like IBM are still in the race towards quantum computing, which so far can only run one type of equation. This seems ironic as they can theoretically run more operations than there are atoms in the universe. But this stops now.

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Jan 5, 2017

Quantum Stress Tensor Fluctuations and Primordial Gravity Waves [CL]

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

We examine the effect of the stress tensor of a quantum matter field, such as the electromagnetic field, on the spectrum of primordial gravity waves expected in inflationary cosmology. We find that the net effect is a small reduction in the power spectrum, especially at higher frequencies, but which has a different form from that described by the usual spectral index. Thus this effect has a characteristic signature, and is in principle observable. The net effect is a sum of two contributions, one of which is due to quantum fluctuations of the matter field stress tensor. The other is a quantum correction to the graviton field due to coupling to the expectation value of this stress tensor. Both contributions are sensitive to initial conditions in the very early universe, so this effect has the potential to act as a probe of these initial conditions.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Hsiang, L. Ford, K. Ng, et. al. Thu, 5 Jan 17 31/58.

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Jan 5, 2017

Japanese company replaces office workers with artificial intelligence

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

A future in which human workers are replaced by machines is about to become a reality at an insurance firm in Japan, where more than 30 employees are being laid off and replaced with an artificial intelligence system that can calculate payouts to policyholders.

Insurance firm Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance is making 34 employees redundant and replacing them with IBM’s Watson Explorer AI.

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Jan 5, 2017

Mini factory made drugs on demand

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Continuous-flow system went from synthesis to dosage forms in hours.

Stu Borman

Drug manufacturers typically produce drugs in batches in large factories. But a new trend is developing in the pharmaceutical industry to reduce infrastructure costs by using small continuous-flow systems to make drug doses on demand.

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